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Chapter 15: Potter's Raid.

While at Columbia, S. C., General Sherman sent and destroyed the railroad to Kingsville and the Wateree Bridge. From Cheraw he broke the railroad trestles toward Florence as far as Darlington, and the enemy burned the railroad bridge over the Pedee. Between Florence and Sumterville was a vast amount of rollingstock thus hemmed in. Sherman, considering that this should be destroyed before the roads could be repaired, and that the food supplies in that section should be exhausted, wrote General Gillmore from Fayetteville, N. C., directing him to execute this work. He suggested that Gillmore's force be twenty-five hundred men, lightly equipped, to move from Georgetown or the Santee Bridge, that the troops be taken from Charleston or Savannah, and added,—
‘I don't feel disposed to be over-generous, and should not hesitate to burn Charleston, Savannah, and Wilmington, or either of them, if the garrisons were needed. . . . Those cars and locomotives should be destroyed if to do it costs you five hundred men.’

These instructions caused the concentration of a selected force at Georgetown, of which the Fifty-fourth formed a part. The resultant movement, called ‘Potter's Raid,’ during which almost the last encounters of the Rebellion occurred, is little known, as it took place when momentous military events were taking place elsewhere.

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William T. Sherman (2)
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